Washington (CNN) – Imagine if these two women didn't live to see their 5th birthday.
A young Hillary Clinton growing up in the Chicago suburbs wouldn't have grown up to be first lady, a senator and now secretary of state. Kim Kardashian would have never become a world-famous reality star and mesmerized millions of fans around the world with her overpriced wedding.
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The pair are just a few famous people who have dug into their childhood photo albums to highlight an awareness-raising campaign to reduce child mortality. Last month the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and several partners, including UNICEF, launched "Every Child Deserves a 5th Birthday".
The premise is simple: every child should have a chance to reach five. Over 7 million children-most of them in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia-didn't reach their 5th birthday last year. That number is equivalent to the entire population of New York City.
The initiative aims to prevent thousands of child deaths by providing such technologies as vaccines and malaria prevention strategies such as bed netting, as well as low-cost tools to help community health workers and women save mother and newborn lives in the critical 48 hours after birth. The U.S., India and Ethiopia will convene a high-level forum next month in Washington to identify programs which can prevent such deaths.
"Every woman, whoever she is, wherever she lives, should be able to give birth without the fear she's going to lose her baby or that her baby will lose her mother," Clinton wrote in a message accompanying her photo.
In the meantime USAID is urging the world the join Rajiv Shah, the boy in the floral shirt and red pullover who grew up to be the administrator of USAID, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, wearing white gloves and hat, who became the first female Speaker of the House.